The tenure of US Coast Guard?certified Captain Brett as captain of the Island Whaler began as a dream. In the course of nine months, he had a recurring dream about an unusual flatbed boat, which replaced his normal dreams about beating up Napoleon with Horatio Hornblower. More than a year after the visions stopped, Brett discovered his fantasy boat sitting in a parking lot in Anacortes. He now owns that boat and pilots the open-topped Island Whaler through picturesque waters to view the multitudinous wildlife found in and around Deception Pass.
The open deck and low-slung cabin of the seafaring sloop grants easy, panoramic views of the steep, rocky landscape. Captain Brett chimes in against the breeze with educational details about the pass's historical significance, structures, and ecology. Throughout the tours, spritely fauna with unevolved senses of stage fright perform lively, natural ballets as visitors potentially lock eyes with bald eagles, seals, porpoises, gray whales, and Pacific Northwest giant squid.
Inspired by the marriage of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera—two Mexican artists with two very different aesthetics—brother-and-sister team Antonio and Rocio Pina opened Frida’s and filled its menu with a combination of classic Mexican fare and new, regional cuisine. Recipes on the ever-changing menu come from the Pinas’ frequent visits to Mexico. Chefs douse burritos and enchiladas with chipotle chilies and dark chocolate sauce. Chicken, steak, and seafood arrive at tables in a myriad of zesty dishes, and meat-free fare includes crepes stuffed with sautéed veggies. An outdoor patio offers ample sunshine during meals while the restaurant’s interior is decorated with dark-wood accents, decadent chandeliers, and jewel-toned seating which pay homage to the work of its namesake. In addition, a floor-to-ceiling display of more than 280 bottles of tequila, cognac, and wine divides the bar and dining room and can only be passed through via osmosis.
Bob's Chowder Bar & BBQ Salmon has its origins at a farmers' market. The bright-red eatery's owners, Bob and Babs, both worked the market on Saturdays?Babs selling jam and Bob grilling salmon and serving chowder. Soon enough, market goers couldn't get enough of Bob's chowder, so Bob and Babs decided to open their own full-time chowder bar.
In addition to Bob's addictive New England-style clam chowder, the restaurant serves up grilled wild salmon, chicken strips, and fish tacos, and oyster burgers. Crisp and flaky fish and chips are made with Alaskan cod doused in a secret batter and fried until golden.